On Tuesday, September 20, 2011, Felix Giordano boarded a Montana-bound Amtrak train arriving in Whitefish, Montana two days later. From there, he traveled to Kalispell, Lakeside, Thompson Falls, Libby, Missoula, Helena, Butte, Virginia City, Bozeman, Billings, Crow Agency, Big Timber, Fort Benton, Great Falls, Shelby, Cut Bank, Browning, and East Glacier, finally returning to Whitefish.
He visited many interesting, beautiful, and spiritual sights such as Flathead Lake, the Little Bitterroot River, Kootenai Falls, the Swinging Bridge, Ross Creek Cedars, the Clark Fork River, the Cathedral of Saint Helena, the Museum of the Rockies, Pictograph Cave State Park, the Little Bighorn Battlefield, the Rimrocks, the Crazy Mountains, Gallatin National Forest, Big Timber Creek Falls, the Missouri Breaks, the Flathead, Blackfeet, and Crow Reservations, and Glacier Park just to name a few. All these places have prominence in either current or future novels in the Jim Buchanan Series.
Mr. Giordano met and interviewed county sheriffs, members of the Montana Highway Patrol, a coroner, a police chief, members of a Native American support organization, local citizens, and other visitors.
The Flathead Indian Reservation – near the Little Bitterroot River
Western Montana has some of the most beautiful sights and wide-open spaces in our nation. Where else can you stand on the shoulder of a US highway snapping pictures and only see two cars pass by within a twenty minute time span.
This location is prominent in Mystery at Little Bitterroot where Sheriff Jim Buchanan discovers a mutilated corpse.
Flathead Lake – largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi
This photo is near Lakeside, Montana. Until recently, Flathead Lake was a public drinking supply.
Kootenai Falls – Libby, Montana
These falls drop over 200 feet and are a brilliant turquoise blue. The distinctive color is the result of this river being fed from glacial melt. The area in and around the falls are considered a Native American spiritual place.
The Clark Fork River – outside Thompson Falls, Montana
It isn’t difficult to discover magical places not far off the beaten path in Montana. A short drive west on Route 200 provides this beautiful view.
Virginia City, Montana
Virginia City is a working ghost town. That means that even though people live there and it serves as the county seat of Madison County, Montana, the buildings are preserved and most are certified as National Historic Landmarks.
As far as the eye can see!
On the way to Bozeman the area is both surreal and beautiful. This was once an inland sea. You can see a storm brewing on the right side of this picture.
The Rimrocks – Billings, Montana
“On sandstone cliffs so high
what secrets do you hold
brave warriors who chose to die
on sandstone cliffs so high
their sacrifice kissed the Creator’s sky
with blind ponies now long cold
on sandstone cliffs so high
what secrets do you hold”
~Felix F. Giordano, 2011
Little Bighorn National Battlefield – near Crow Agency, Montana
Battlefield blood spilled due to man’s inability to sit and speak with one another. Pride, ambition, stubbornness, revenge, all get in the way when what we really need is love, empathy, and understanding. If we could for once just let our minds listen to our hearts.
Big Timber, Montana
One of the more remote areas of Montana with the snow-capped peaks of the Crazy Mountains in the background.
Fort Benton, Montana
Situated on the banks of the Missouri River, Fort Benton served mainly as a trading post and as a gateway for Oregon settlers. It is a quaint town with much character. Clockwise, the first picture is just outside Fort Benton, the next is downtown, the third is the pedestrian bridge that crosses the Missouri River and the last is the Grand Union Hotel.
The Continental Divide
Crossing the Continental Divide is not necessarily a significant event, at least in our day and age. At Marias Pass in Glacier Park, 5,216 feet above sea level the divide is just another signpost along the road.
Glacier Park, Montana